Message to Minister: Make a real commitment to end bullying
NDP Education Critic Dale Kirby (MHA, St. John’s North) says it is time to move from words to action when it comes to bullying in the province's schools.
That statement comes as the province marks the end of the tenth Bullying Awareness Week. This year’s theme was “Stand up! (to bullying)” and Kirby feels the Minister of Education is uniquely positioned to do just that.
“A recent evaluation and review of government’s Safe and Caring Schools Policy said, ‘additional efforts are required to ensure there is a sense of urgency and priority brought to the’ government’s anti-bullying policies,” said Kirby. “Some obvious ways to accomplish that would include adequate funding for programs, staffing, and training, as well as consistent and clear guidelines for policy implementation.”
In May of this year, Kirby introduced a private member’s motion in the House of Assembly calling on government to enshrine anti-bullying measures in the provincial Schools Act.
“I haven’t seen anything concrete from the Minister of Education since he, and the rest of the PC Party Caucus, voted to water down that motion,” says Kirby. “The minister has said he would like to hold consultations on changes to government’s current approach of dealing with bullying in schools but he has not offered any indication of when this might happen.
“To date, the minister has not committed any new resources to addressing bullying in schools.
“I am calling on him to take these matters more seriously and work toward addressing the shortcomings highlighted in the recent review of his current approach.”